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Monroe, Villanueva lead Pistons over short-handed Spurs

San Antonio Spurs 109

Final Recap | Box Score

119 Detroit Pistons
Jason Maxiell, PF 23 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -3The good version of Max made a few appearances tonight — including two thunderous dunks that obliterated multiple Spurs. He’s struggled with his jump shot recently, and you would like a few more rebounds, but he had an adequate night.
Greg Monroe, C 40 MIN | 9-16 FG | 8-10 FT | 16 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 26 PTS | +13For the first time in a long time, Monroe put together a great game and his teammates actually came to play, too. He took Tiago Splitter to school early and was strong on the boards in the first and second half. He had five assists, but also five turnovers — which is what keeps him from an A+.
Jose Calderon, PG 31 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +13All you need to know about Calderon’s night is that he had eight assists and zero turnovers. He’s just so smooth with the ball, and when he gets a screen he knows exactly where his options — his jumper, the screener and extra shooters — are going to be. Tony Parker had a field day, but slowing him was a problem for all of the guards.
Brandon Knight, PG 36 MIN | 10-21 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 24 PTS | +5He didn’t look comfortable as a shooting guard in his first two outings this week, but tonight he looked the part. Knight was aggressive from the start and didn’t look passive at all. Some of his forays to the basket were a bit overly-aggressive, but this was a very strong showing.
Kyle Singler, SG 36 MIN | 6-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +12I thought about it, and if Danny Green can be a key bench cog on a contender, then Singler can totally be that, too. He scored well and did a good, but not great, job guarding Leonard.
Charlie Villanueva, PF 33 MIN | 7-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | +10WHO IS THIS GUY? Not only did Charlie V shoot the ball well, but he had a pair of nice blocks and eight rebounds. The rebounds and points were season-highs for him, but, seriously, this may have been the best game he’s played since early in his Detroit days.
Will Bynum, PG 17 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -3Bynum gave the team a nice spark off the bench. With Lawrence Frank cutting his rotation down to eight guys, Bynum basically played with Villanueva, Singler, Stuckey and Monroe. He’s been able to look to score a little more with Calderon in the fold, too.
Rodney Stuckey, PG 24 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 11 PTS | +3When he doesn’t set up camp in the corner, he’s a contributor. It looked like Frank ran a play or two to get him in the flow when he got on the floor, and that may have done the trick on getting him in the game mentally.
Lawrence Frank
He gets criticized, whether fairly or not, for a lot of his decisions, but tonight it’s hard to question him. The team came out running-and-gunning on offense, which is a huge reason why they jumped out to a 21-point lead in the second quarter. He cut his rotation down to eight and it worked out to perfection with all three guys playing well off the bench. He never really found a way to bottle up Parker, but hey, who knows how to do that?


  • Feb 8, 201310:43 pm
    by Elkarl


    without ginno and duncan? really? great job Frank!!! (ironic on).

    • Feb 9, 201311:36 am
      by Herman Neutic


      Fire Frank because he doesn’t play Drummond enough. Or fire Frank because he has played Drummond too much, overextended and rushed Drummond along, not giving him time to develop and mature for the NBA game, and so Drummond gets injured.

      • Feb 9, 20133:06 pm
        by tarsier


        freak injuries happen. drummond should be playing more. would it up his odds of getting injured? sure, but the same could be said for every player in the entire league. a good coach should be putting his best players on the floor.

  • Feb 8, 201310:47 pm
    by Brady Fredericksen


    In his defense, this is the same lineup that has been very competitive all season without those guys — and almost beat the Heat in November.

  • Feb 8, 201310:57 pm
    by George


    Actually, against the Heat, they didn’t have Duncan, Parker, or Manu, but Pop is a master coach/motivator.  I would consider this a legit win against a very good team, but no doubt, with Duncan, they are outstanding.

  • Feb 8, 201311:08 pm
    by frankie d


    this was really the first post-tayshaun win for the team.
    they played at a pace for pretty much the entire game that they never could achieve with prince on the floor.  whenever the team would start revving things up, tay would slow them back down.  tonight, the team stayed at a very high pace all game long and it worked.
    this is the way a team with a bunch of young guys should play: running and pushing the other team to keep up with their pace. looking for early shots that might be a lot better than a shot later in the shot clock.  taking advantage of slow defensive transitions by the other team.
    hope they keep it up. 

    • Feb 9, 201311:11 am
      by T Casey


      This is actually our second post Tey win. We trounced some team last week when Knight had that 20 and 10 game. They played the same brand of basketball too and it was sight to see. the biggest takeway for me, as it has been all season, is that we are a much better team when Monroe and Knight play well together and we’re pushing the tempo. Things just fall into place all around the board.

      • Feb 9, 201311:30 am
        by rick


        You really giving credit for beating Cleveland??LoL. Should have beat LA and NJ then it would have been a success.

        • Feb 9, 20131:33 pm
          by Tangen


          We’re not good enough that we can take any team for granted.

        • Feb 9, 20133:07 pm
          by tarsier


          Yes, it was credited to the Pistons as a W. Why wouldn’t you count it?

  • Feb 8, 201311:45 pm
    by Mark


    I suspected at the start of the game that if we could defend the 3 pt line, we could beat them, regardless of what Parker did on penetration, as long as he didn’t go off for 50.

    I’ve seen so many teams get suckered into committing their whole team defensively to stopping Parkers penetration, and as a result the Spurs go nuts from 3 pt land. They don’t want to penetrate for layups. They want to penetrate for 3s. I thought we did an excellent job staying disciplined on the perimeter and not getting suckered by Parkers drives.

    It got us a little big at the end, but for the most part we forced them to shoot a low % from downtown, and I thought that was the reason we won. That team isn’t good enough to win consistently by just scoring 2s. Maybe when they get Duncan/Ginobli back, but tonights version was mostly just a bunch of 3 pt shooters surrounding Parker. Take away those 3s and Parkers 31 pts isn’t going to be enough to beat you.

    Great game 

  • Feb 8, 201311:48 pm
    by Delray313


    Cv is playing like i know he can well rounded game even if you dont like him give him credit he is buying in on defense. Knight looked good but can he keep this up at Sg idk. Moooooosssseeeee keep it up i want to see him avg a double double every game. Calderon is a nice fit good i mean great decision maker. Singler good game as well. I love the flow of this team without Tay i love tay but not for this team.

    • Feb 9, 20131:16 am
      by sb3


      The Knight/Calderon backcourt will be put to the test tomorrow against two of the toughest covers around. Knight’s had success against both Jennings and Ellis, but Jose is a whole other story. We’ll see.

      Such an undersized backcourt though. 

  • Feb 9, 201312:16 am
    by MrCarter


    SERIOUS QUESTION: In your opinion, considering what we witnessed with Ben Gordon for the last 3 years, do you really think that Knight could make a move to becoming our (EVERYDAY!) starting 2-gaurd? Obviously, he’s a tremendous scorer. I’m just concerned about his size and, yes I admit, still not quite completely over the BG years yet. All thoughts are welcome, thanks.

    • Feb 9, 201312:30 am
      by sloppy joe


      I’m not sold on it, but I like to think of the rest of this season as an audition to see if he can become that.

    • Feb 9, 20131:19 am
      by sb3


      No, not long term. It’s a bad defensive backcourt, and having to guard bigger guys night in night out isn’t ideal for BK, it takes a lot out of a guy.

    • Feb 9, 20132:49 am
      by Mark


      Yes, I do. There are some major differences between Knight and Gordon.

      1. Knight is longer and more athletic

      2. Knight is a better defensive player, with a greater will to succeed, which is mostly what defense is about.

      3. Knight isn’t one-dimensional. He’s proven he can be a playmaker and is a good rebounder from the guard position.

      4. Todays SGs are as big anymore as they used to be. The best SGs today are mostly the same height as Knight.

      5. Bottom line, I think Knight will just be a better basketball player. 

      CP3 gives up a few inches every night to whoever he’s guarding, but you’d take CP3 every night because he’s a better basketball player.

      It may not work out at SG for Knight, but we got a pretty good idea that it wasnt going to work at PG. So might as well try SG. IMO, he will have a better chance to be an All-Star at SG than at PG. Too many great PGs today, but very few great SGs. Less competition night in, night out. Most nights he will be going against Danny Green type SGs like tonight.

      • Feb 9, 20132:50 am
        by Mark


        **4. Todays SGs aren’t as big anymore as they used to be. The best SGs today are mostly the same height as Knight.

      • Feb 9, 201311:32 am
        by rick


        All star. ROFLMAO. Ok George Blaha, lol.

      • Feb 9, 20131:18 pm
        by I HATE FRANK



    • Feb 9, 201311:08 am
      by T Casey


      Count me in the crown of “no’s.” I don’t think it’ll work out for the team long term and I think Knight’s best shot at becoming the kind of player that you consider an untradable asset lies at the pg position.

  • Feb 9, 20131:26 am
    by piston moribund


    Hmmm, beat a team without 2 of its top 3 players while Pop just sat there like he was lounging.  Obviously resting his guys against a crap team without getting trying to get fined, genius.  And still had good odds to get the W.
    Winning against a JV team is better then losing to one, but that’s pretty much it. Grading a a curve obviously.

    • Feb 9, 20132:52 am
      by Mark


      Are you serious? 

      Duncan and Ginobli were injured, not resting. And this same team had won 11 straight, 10 of which without at least 1 of Duncan or Ginobli each game.

      You sound like a bitter Spurs fan 

  • Feb 9, 20133:20 am
    by DG


    This is the kind of game the Pistons have been losing all year.  Get up by double digits and then the other team fights back.  This time the Pistons kept the pressure on by hitting some critical threes (CV) every time the Spurs got the lead back down to single digits.  Showed some fight tonight.  Like to see that.

  • Feb 9, 20136:04 am


    Sometimes I feel like Skip Baylass….talking about Tebow when I talk about Brandon Knight …No Big Rick its not a Man Crush…

    Night played Almost Flawless at the 2 spot…I said I was opposed to moving Knight to the 2 “IF” he was just gonna stand in the corner and chuck 3′s ….But last night BK …looked like Rip Hamilton and Chauncy Billups Love child…. He was running around getting open without the ball knocking down mid and long range jumpers, he was getting into the lane almost at well, he only had 2 assist but his dribble drive and cuts to the basket were strong even when he missed…Maxiell ,Singler, and Monroe were able to easily get offensive rebounds and put backs…also ( he dropped a few nice dimes that maxiel,monroe and charlie missed but that’s life) …and his defense was very solid Knight defended Parker,Leonard, and Danny Green …. Now Knight needs to string a few more game together and my favorite state of the night 21 shot attempts ….

    Now I’m Franks toughest critic or one of them…but I give him an A…. His rotation was not predictable, the way he used Knight and Singler was Creative, he pushed the ball, I don’t know if it was wise to play Greg 40 mins with a game coming up the next day, but I like that when Greg had it going on he didn’t sit him for a long period of time….and FINALLY….Spurs shot the lights out from 3 in the first half….I’m the 2nd he did not double team or trap the ball on every drive or everytime their was a threat of a drive, in other words he just wasn’t leaving 3 point shooters open …

  • Feb 9, 20139:00 am
    by Mark


    Good win. 
    I live in the South where I can watch Grizzlie games. Prince and Day are a good fit so far. Daye shad a good all round game last night.. To me having an experienced coach who is an ex- player is icing on the cake. I think you will see Daye’s game really improve. Frank to his credit started off breaking down film and learned a lot through osmosis, but he will always be limited because he never played the game at any level and lacks a feel for the game. He will not be the coach when the Pistons begin to contend in the playoffs. He will not see the Promised Land. 

  • Feb 9, 20139:41 am
    by Corey


    It wouldn’t surprise me if the plan is to hire a better coach when the pistons are ready to contend, but I wonder:

    Did Greg Popovich play?
    did Stan van Gundy?
    did Jeff van gundy? 

    None of them have the look of basketball players. Jeff VG for sure is tiny, but maybe they all played in at least high school or even college. 

    I do want to see us change coaches, but given Dumars’ history with coaches, it’s important the team let Frank play out his contract. How long is it? It would be good to keep him one more year and then hire a Stan Van Gundy or someone like that to be our contending team coach.

    • Feb 9, 201311:45 am
      by Herman Neutic


      I think Joe D has Frank’s back. They share a multiyear plan to bring this team along and it’s working. Pistons are young, play hard, and they’re developing. It’s a shame more fans can’t see it. By the way, where would Drummond be today if the Pistons had made the playoffs last year?

  • Feb 9, 20139:52 am
    by andyf


    “Short handed Pistons beat Short handed Spurs”
    Seriously, we all know Drummond is a major impact guy, and we all clamor that he’s a starter and one of our best, if not, our best player.  Why take anything away from this win because a deep Spurs team is down an old Tim Duncan and a sometimes starter, sometimes 6th man Ginobli?

  • Feb 9, 20131:34 pm
    by Mark


    To answer Corey, both van Gundys played the game at a college level and Popovich played as well.
    Sorry guys, I am not buying into Franks competence as a head coach and I therefor reject whatever plan you all think that he and Dumars might have. How come Drummond doesn’t have a post up move or two?
    why are his in game adjustments slow or none existent?  I credit Dumars with trading Prince and Daye to get a point guard.   Knight may yet develop. I still think Dumars and Frank need to go, and he can take his incompetent assistants with him.  

    • Feb 9, 20133:55 pm
      by RationalSportsFan


      I am sure the Van Gundys time spent at Nazareth College and SUNY-Brockport really contributed to their NBA coaching success…
      I am not a big Frank fan, but saying he can’t coach because he didn’t play college ball is just silly.

  • Feb 9, 20132:17 pm
    by piston moribund


    They are missing two of their best players, opening up the middle for all the dribble drives and kick outs.  The doubling give the open looks for all those threes.  The Pistons probably have improved a bit since the beginning and since the trade(hope more to come….MAX..), but the fact is, a depleted Spurs team almost came back and forced Frank to play his starters the bulk of the minutes.  With a tough game against the Bucks.  It either shows how good the Spurs are or how bad the Pistons are.  The latter is probably a more realistic assessment of the teams progress.
    Lets see what the rotation looks like tonight.  Surprised that JJ didnt play even though he made some clutch plays during the nets game.

  • Feb 9, 20132:27 pm
    by Georgio


    I too was surprised and disappointed that Slava nor JJ played. Spurs backup center was Blair, who Slava should match up with pretty well, just keep him off the boards and he won’t hurt you any other way. We had Stuckey playing the 3 behind Singler and that was terrible. Jackson won that matchup everytime just backing Stuckey down and shooting right over him, we won the game so it’s overlooked but it didn’t work in NY against Melo and it didn’t work last night against Jackson, stop doing it, let JJ back up Singler and if you want Stuckey on the floor more then another guard’s minutes should be cut. Hopefully JJ and Slava are back in the rotation tonight.

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